Why Marketing Matters For Co-op Success

Co-op Marketing Fort Worth

For many businesspeople, marketing is one of the scariest parts of actually running things on their own. A lot of people become entrepreneurs or rise in a larger business due to their dedication to the niche or type of work, not marketing itself. As a result, there are a lot of unknowns, and as we can see, there are many high-profile marketing blunders that can not only drain your wallet, but cut into your customer base.

But what if there was a way to try and minimize this risk, and find a way to pool resources for advertising that can stand up against the larger names in your niche? What if there was a way to potentially use the audience and name of one of those larger niches to increase your own chances of success? This is the basic principle behind co-op marketing, something that may help get your business to the next level.

The Basics on Co-op Marketing

In essence, the idea behind co-op marketing is a smaller company putting money into an advertising budget, and having that money matched by a corporate partner. One of the biggest examples of this is car dealerships. If a car specializes in a certain carmaker’s offerings, they may get some advertising money from the carmaker themselves. The reasoning from the carmaker is that they have someone out there supporting their brand, so it makes sense to try and put some money their way.

Think of it this way: it’s been proven statistically that there is a growing interest in local advertising as opposed to massive corporate advertising. This is for a number of reasons, from cynicism on the part of the consumers to a basic interest in supporting local businesses. From the larger advertising partner’s perspective, it makes sense to try and financially support a smaller company’s advertising efforts. They still get the sale they want, but target a consumer who may tune out their commercials or radio ads.

There are other common examples of co-op marketing you may see every day without thinking. For example, in a shopping center or mall, you’re likely to see advertisements for each retailer in said center. In addition, they may also put out advertisements in the local newspaper for popular holidays or other times where there’s a significant spike in shopping. Again, this works to the benefit of the larger company. It’s a lot easier to advertise your product to certain groups in certain regions if you have first-hand knowledge of what they like. No one knows this better than local retailers.

Digital Marketing Dallas

Why Bother With Co-op Marketing?

Co-op marketing is a very versatile option, but at this point, we’ve only covered the benefit to the larger companies working with smaller ones. However, the smaller company also sees a variety of different benefits from entering a co-op marketing partnership.

The major benefit, especially for small businesses, is how co-op marketing can drastically reduce the potential money you need to set aside for marketing endeavors. On average, a manufacturer will pay anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of placing a local ad. Not only does this allow you to reap the benefits of exposure to a larger audience, but also not have to worry about affecting your cash flow to do so.

Speaking of exposure, this tends to work in two different positive ways for the smaller company. For one, there’s the sheer matter of volume and reach, the fact that more advertising dollars mean that you can put together a more extensive and effective campaign. However, working with a larger brand and having your name associated with theirs also lends an air of legitimacy to your business. The sight of your business’s name next to an internationally known manufacturer is a clear sign of success.

Another way that the smaller businesses benefit is from knowledge and osmosis. Large, global companies pour massive amounts of money into studying advertising and their consumer base in order to get an idea of what they respond to most. This allows the smaller companies a chance to learn some effective strategies for a fraction of the cost.

As a final add-on point, while these are the most common co-op marketing relationships you see, it’s also possible for multiple small businesses to try and band together to do something similar. For example, two non-competitive businesses with a history of working together may pool together advertising money for a campaign which highlights both. The trade is that you don’t have the benefits of the resources of a larger company, but there is more freedom in what you can do, which we will get to in a moment.

Co-op Marketing

The Key To Effective Co-op Marketing

When it comes to co-op marketing, what many people describe as a drawback is the fact that you’ve committed to the advertising standards of whatever entity you choose to work with. This can play out in terms of:

  • Having a certain standard of advertising quality
  • Utilizing only a specific type of advertising
  • Hidden requirements
  • Limits on what the advertising money provided by the larger entity can be used for

This isn’t always a bad thing. Remember, larger companies make a lot of investment in understanding what works in advertising, so it may behoove you to try and follow their lead. However, no one wants to be caught off-guard, so the first thing you want to do in co-op advertising is getting a clear understanding of the rules with an attorney.

The other important piece of this is making sure that your company’s internal structure is ready to take on the added workload of a proper advertising campaign. Many smaller companies may have a small ad here or there, but it’s a big step up to regularly produce print or web advertising, even if you have the money. Make sure you have the marketing personnel either on staff or hired to do the bulk of the actual planning and formulation.

Another important key is making sure that you have open lines of communication with all the members of your co-op. This is going to be essential for a variety of reasons. For one, you need to be able to understand quickly whether or not your partner approves or does not approve of any advertising material before you send it out. In addition, communication makes it easier for them to give you general advice as needed. However, don’t think that you’re bound to whatever they say. For example, digital marketing is essential for advertising success. If you read or learn about a concept that you think makes sense to use, bring it up. Remember, larger companies want to use the up-close experience their smaller partners have as well.

Because there are several different companies or entities putting their money together for co-op advertising, it’s that much more important that you put together a proper formal strategy that allows everyone to benefit. This means not just recruiting professional help for putting together branding materials, but also at the thought stage. This is where Glint Advertising is so helpful. We understand how advertising has evolved, as well as the mechanisms that drive consumer response. Whether you’re ready to start a campaign or just want a consultation, we are here to help guide you down a path of successful marketing and advertising strategies.

Essential steps to properly engage with your target audience

Audience Engagement To successfully grow a business, you need to connect with the target audience associated with your growth plan, especially in cases where you are starting a new business. You’ll need to have a firm idea of who your customer base is as this is half the battle in getting your brand noticed. You also need to be aware of how to properly engage with your audience and how to strengthen and maintain the relationships you form with customers, to keep them onboard and attract new customers.

In the article below, we’ll go over the critical steps you need to take for effectively identifying and adequately engaging with the right audience for your specific products or services.

Researching Your Target Audience
To properly engage with the audience for your brand, you need to know their precise interests and who they are. There are many things you should be considering when researching the perfect customers for your products or services. The most effective approach for accomplishing this is to develop a market segmentation plan.

Market segmentation will allow you to find the key factors driving your target audience. This research can include many things depending on what you are trying to sell, but generally, it comes down to a few things for most businesses:

Geographic Segmentation: Depending on your services this can be a significant factor and defines precisely where your customers work and play.

Demographic Segmentation: Things like age, gender, job, and income. These are big for everyone and are things to focus on in any marketing strategy.

Psychographic Segmentation: These are the more niche factors, like lifestyle, personality, and customer values. All crucial things to consider for any business.

Once you’ve been able to answer these questions and those unique to your business, you’ll be well on your way to understanding your audience fully. Once you do, you can properly engage with them to increase brand awareness and overall sales.

Man Looking At ROI

Engaging with Your Audience
Now that you have a firm idea of who you are trying to target, we can start engaging with them. Building a relationship with a customer takes time and effort and gaining a customer’s trust is beyond valuable. Customers who are loyal and trust the brand they are buying from will provide you with repeat sales and word of mouth marketing on social networks and within friend and business groups.

For these reasons, it is a good idea to focus on customer service and engagement, two things that go hand in hand when it comes to marketing.

When engaging with your audience, whether it be email, a social post, or replying to a customer on the phone, keep these things in mind:

Be Consistent: If you are only hitting your goals with your engagement every once in a while, you won’t make it very far. While people do remember the good things, they really remember the bad, so make sure everything is always consistent with your brand. Consistency in brand applies to service, the tone of voice, and graphical style. Customers want to feel like they know you, if you are constantly changing it up, they won’t get that feeling from your business.

Be Accessible: If you are going to take the time to engage with your customers via comments, content efforts, email, or in-store, you need to be doing it in a way that resonates with them. An excellent way to accomplish this is being accessible. Accessibility means making your content and messages easy to understand, and if you can, engaging and entertaining.

Be Personal: When communicating with your target audience, avoid sounding like a robot. Go out of your way to act as if you were talking to a friend. Cater all your responses directly to the needs and personality of the person you are dealing with. Communication is a great place to show your dedication to your customers.

Lady Choosing Technology

Use the Same Platforms Your Customers Do
If you are planning to utilize social media and content marketing to try and boost engagement as you should be, then you need to know where your customers tend to spend their time online. Discovering relevant channels will be another step you’ll have to take when doing your research for your target market. If you are running even the best content on the wrong platforms, you are just wasting valuable time and money.

If you are planning on creating your content marketing via social media, be sure to research each platform and find out which your customer base is using, and which would best suit the type of content you want to be using.

For businesses that are trying to tackle emails, personalizing your emails to your target market will be key to success. If your customers don’t tend to interact with their inboxes much, something the younger generations can be known for, then you can also be wasting your efforts here.

If your customers are coming to your website to engage with your business, it would be best to focus the bulk of your efforts into this area. Website content can be the best way to market, as it is completely under your control, where on social media you may have to fit your content into specific guidelines.

Plan your tactics accordingly in this area, and you’ll be well on your way to success. The core steps to engaging apply to all tactics, but make sure you are selecting the appropriate platform, and researching everything before you begin creating content.

Your Business Needs to Engage with Its Audience to be Successful
For you to thrive in highly competitive spaces, you need to be setting yourself apart and building loyalty with your customers. If your audience doesn’t have a good reason to pick you over the other guy, they may jump ship.

Give them excellent customer service, engage with them appropriately, maintain a consistent brand, and you’ll be sure to see improvements in all areas of your business. If you need help engaging customers with your branding, advertising, or marketing, please let us talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Sports Passion Rewarded with Gold!

Eastfield College Sports Award with Glint Advertising

When Eastfield College provided glint the opportunity to rebrand the athletic department and sports brands for their school, we were excited to get to work. After months of research and concepting, the new brand came to life, and we were incredibly satisfied with the result. The sharp blue and orange colors connected with the existing college brand and the bold bee graphic correlated well with the intensity and passion needed in sports. The cartoonist approach also helped maintain an approachable feeling that could connect with audiences of any age.

Confirmation quickly came that we weren’t the only people that thought it looked great and hit the mark! The design was entered into a sports advertising competition with an astounding result. The brands were assessed by a panel of national sports marketing and advertising professionals based on creativity, marketing execution, and impact. We had high hopes for a positive result in the competition, so high in fact that our hopes were validated by winning the gold medal in our category.

“As an agency, we were ecstatic for our client, and that the hard work of our team was recognized with this honor in the rapidly growing area of sports advertising and marketing,” said Craig Lloyd, President, Glint Advertising. “Furthermore, we are grateful for the opportunity that Eastfield college provided us. We hope to continue receiving recognition for Eastfield and our other clients that showcase the talent and quality in our partnerships.”

Glint has been helping clients define, refine and hone their brand strategy and image since 2000, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

7 Questions to ensure you don’t get duped into SEO

SEO Considerations

Much like an online dating site, at first glance SEO can seem quite attractive. You correspond back and forth, and when you feel you have a connection, it’s time to meet and take your discussions to the next level. You start prepping for the big day, get your hair just right, put on your best outfit…afterall, you’ve bought into the initial connection, and you’re ready to impress.

You finally get together anticipating a smooth continuation of the initial impression that was advertised only to discover their initial image is not what you’re seeing now. Not to say looks and first impressions are everything, but let’s be honest…they’re essential. Needles to say, it’s now a little uncomfortable and you feel you’ve been duped and getting duped is not OK.

Setting the right expectations up front is crucial to any relationship. Especially relationships in business where trust, honesty, and a strong ROI are needed to gain long-term prosperity.

Like the example above, there are unfortunately many businesses that would like you to believe they’re the best partner for you, when in fact, they have no intention of ever developing a genuine relationship built on trust. The lack of delivering on intentions can be devastating for companies needing expert assistance to help propel their marketing and advertising strategies forward, especially in the realms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that SEO is all about one thing, having our site listed in the number one spot on Search Engines. Though strong ranking is a by-product of good SEO, should that really be the goal? We find the real purpose of SEO should be to attain more customers. A strategy that actually converts visitors is what pays the bills and grows the brand.

The strategy Glint takes on SEO is very comprehensive. Everything from creating unique content, link building, citation building & management, keyword management, reputation management, and monthly analytical reporting are utilized. Also, we set clear expectations around the length of time SEO takes to implement correctly and that the strategy should be created for long-term impact vs. short-term boost.

Before you become disappointed with an SEO strategy that looks great in the beginning, below are seven questions to help ensure your brand has long-term success?

  1. “Please discuss your experience in branding and how you ensure my brand integrity is never compromised by the content you generate.”
  2. “What kind of content will you be generating to drive results?”
  3. “How often will you be generating unique content for us?”
  4. “Do you utilize an in-house team or is the management of our content outsourced?”
  5. “Please elaborate on how you approach link building and the systems you use to accomplish this.”
  6. “On average, how many links per month will you be researching for us?”
  7. “How do you protect our company during the link building process?”

Asking pointed questions like these up-front will help you vet those that have your best interest at heart and establish a good foundation for the relationship based on clear expectations.

In conclusion, we believe that every agency should be able to create visually impactful assets that get you noticed. However, without first understanding YOU and your goals, it’s impossible to discover if you’re an excellent fit for each other. By taking the time to listen and setting clear expectations up front, you can ensure a positive outcome that won’t leave you feeling duped.

To download a more in-depth overview of considerations for choosing an SEO partner, click here.

If adding a layer of support to your marketing team would be beneficial, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Get your Free SEO Audit Right Now

Social Strategy Trumps Social Media

Social Strategy

Glint has a question for you today… Would you ever stick your son or daughter in a car, the moment they turned 16, without having any previous driving experience? In other words, would you allow your kid to drive without ever having taken a driver’s education course?

You are probably shaking your head, thinking to yourself, “Absolutely not!” Which is a good thing, it means you’re a responsible parent and you understand putting your child on the road without any experience could mean placing them and other people in danger.

You are probably wondering, how does this have anything to do with social media? Well, while social media isn’t a several ton vehicle capable of going 100+ miles per hour down the interstate, it is still a tool or vehicle of transportation for your brand’s message and should be treated as such.

Every day, we see brands with a ton of potential take charge of their social media accounts (without any previous education) and tarnish their brand. If you don’t remember anything else from this article, please remember this —

“No social media presence is better than bad social media presence.”

This is a difficult concept to grasp because, for a lot of brands, social media evokes a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). Brands feel that if they aren’t on every platform or using every tool, they will be forgotten about.

And between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and [fill in the blank], there is a lot to try and keep up with. But, social media and the dozens of tools that have been created to power it, is useless (and at times even detrimental) if you don’t understand how to use it. So, how do you use it? Keep reading, and we will share some of our thoughts on the matter.

How to Use Social Media
In order to get the most out of social media, you need to ensure you have a solid foundation. To use another metaphor, if social media is your tool or rocket that your brand uses for lift off, the creative and messaging associated with your brand is the foundation that the rocket sits upon. The rocket is useless without a solid foundation.

Glint helps our clients ensure they are using proper strategy developed by our experts, that way they are getting the highest return on social media.

More on Social Media Strategy
You may be wondering, that’s great, so how do I design a great social media strategy? Well, in order to design a social media strategy that will deliver a high return, you will need to have a deep understanding of your brand, what you stand for and how you are being perceived.

Something that may sound rudimentary at first glance, but something that actually requires an extreme amount of creativity and experience working with brands — this is an artform called branding and something that Glint is very strong at. Check out some branding work we’ve done.

After we have worked with you on defining your brand, we can then go about designing a social media strategy that is right for you, along with the social media platforms that fit this strategy.

If you are interested in learning more about how to use social media and how to develop a social media strategy that is right for you, please don’t hesitate to connect with us here or call us at (817) 616 – 0320.